Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Dr. Jose Lalas, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Dr. Chris Hunt, Ed.D.

Dr. Greg Hamilton, Ed.D.


social capital, cultural capital, dual language immersion, student engagement, bicultural identity, bilingual


Educational Leadership


This study examined the social and cultural capital of bicultural identity on student engagement for elementary students in dual immersion classes. The current definition for a dual immersion program states that students will gain bilingual, biliteracy and bicultural skills. While current research has examined the extent to which students gain bilingual and biliteracy shills in dual immersion programs, little exists on the third aspect of the triad, biculturalism. The research in this study examines the extent to which biculturalism exists within the dual immersion classroom and how it influences student engagement. Using the narrative inquiry approach, the researcher listened to the authentic voices of the participants and conveyed their story. Nvivo software was used as a tool to code and analyze emerging themes related to bicultural identity and student engagement. The researcher conducted semi structured conversational interviews with a preselected interview pool of elementary students, parents, dual immersion teachers and administrators. The findings from the research suggest strong ties between behavioral and emotional engagement with the development of a bicultural identity. Participants explained in detail how communication, trusting relationships and social networks impact the achievement as well as the identity of the students. Implications and recommendations for future and practice are discussed.


© 2016 Amy Lillestrand

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781369061963